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Episode 303 Scott Adams: Talking About Robots and AI Because it Must be 4:20 Somewhere

2018-11-15 | 🔗

Topics: 

  • What does it mean to be alive and intelligent?
    • Human intelligence is an illusion
    • A guiding principle we should give AI robots

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The post Episode 303 Scott Adams: Talking About Robots and AI Because it Must be 4:20 Somewhere appeared first on Dilbert Blog.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
bump bump bump bump bump bump bump bump bump bump bump bump bum bum hey everybody come on in here it's a very special afternoon version of coffee with scott adams this time without coffee but if you like to enjoy a beverage get in here fast because it's time for a simple water with scott adams let's call that the simultaneous ip join me good morning china good morning lindy colleen and molly and anti and mike and all the rest of it all now one of the things i think is the funniest thing in the world
and literally it's just one of the funniest things is that the scientists and the smartest people in the world can't figure it out yes how to create artificial intelligence and i think i know the problem the reason you can't produce artificial intelligence is that there's no such thing as intelligence at least not what we imagined it is so in other words were trying to we produce something that doesn't work that doesn't exist in the first place you can't reproduce something that's never been produced and that's what ai people are trying to do in other words they're trying to reproduce hume intelligence but if i've taught you nothing human intelligence is
largely an illusion in in a practical sense we are largely not using intelligence from imagining that we are so we're actually literally imagining our own and tell the and so the reason you can't build it into a robot is that the thing you're trying to reproduce has never been produced you can't copy something that doesn't exist literally that's the problem and i want to talk about that a little bit by a little thought experiment in which i asked you what does it mean to be alive and intelligent now there is a definition of what it means to be alive in scientific terms but i propose
that that will not be a good enough definition in a world of robots and computer life that will need to update what it means to be alive and we're also going to have to update what it means very intelligent and here's a little mental experiment and the question is this what do you have to add to a robot to be satisfied that it was alive and intelligence not just a robot anymore in the sense of being an object but crossing over into being a life form what would have to add to it to get to that on the other hand what would have to take from a human to turn it into not alive anymore and if you put if you work both ways you might find out something surprising
so take for example this human what could i subtract from the human and still say well we still intelligent and he's still alive so let's let's see what we can remove it from we can remove all of his skills because if you suddenly forgot how to do stuff you still say well you know he doesn't matter play baseball but these these still living intelligent creature so you you couldn't you know i'm not talking about removing the skill of walking and talking but you can you can get rid of most of the skills you can get rid of most this is the body but not all of it then you'd still have you right if this person were a brain in a jar it would still be the person it just could be less stuff
you're not really your actions because you could change your actions and you'd still be the same person you're not really your i would say that your your dna but that's something that the robot can essentially copy because the dna is like the source code for the robot so that that part is not special right it's really just the the the mechanism that allows you to do what you're doing doesn't really define you as intelligence i i don't think it's really your thoughts because no matter what you're thinking you're still alive and you're still you're still intelligent it doesn't matter specifically what you're thinking but there has to be some kind of thought process going on so i'll get to that in a moment obviously there has to be something like thinking but i'll get to that you probably need something like your senses
don't think memories are necessarily important 'cause if i erase it's all of your memories up till today you would still be alive and you'd still be intelligent so i don't think that's the important part i think it comes down to this i think the thing that makes you human somebody said it tions we will who will have very different emotions but there is kind of a feedback loop with our senses or bring in stuff it's an emergency sort of thing i don't think emotions define you do that if you if you could let's say let's take somebody like a psychopath psychopath would not have much in the way of emotions not in the normal sense but would still be alive i would still be intelligent so i'm going to make a case for the most imp
thing that makes you human is this and here's my little rule that i want to run by you so my rule that i wrote today is anything that can develop preferences through experience is both alive and intelligent so anything that can develop its own preferences through living and experiencing in a way is that are not predictable to other people is effectively alive and effectively intelligent now here's the trouble if a robot starts developing preferences we should be concerned because those preferences might not be in in our best interest as humans so you would need to give us some kind of guiding principle so you might say you can develop any preference as you want about how to act
you know within within reason but they have they all have to be compatible with some larger guiding principle and i would suggest that the best guiding principle four are a i in the few picture is that it maximizes human reproduction another words it does whatever is best for human reproduction which is slightly better slightly different from don't hurt anybody if you have the rule don't hurt anybody you get into more ambiguous situations 'cause there are lots of cases where you have to hurt somebody to help somebody else but the way human beings figure that out
is they they usually choose what's best for human reproduction if they have a tough choice and somebody's gotta lot die in somebody's going to live they get to choose the one that's best for human reproduction let me give you an example if you had a choice let's you're a bus driver you're a bus driver and your boss is filled with senior citizens that are eighty years old so everybody in your boss is eighty years and suddenly young mother with a baby carriage goes in front of the bus if you're human being you instantly make the decision that's best for human reproduction meaning you'll kill everybody in the bus to save the baby and the young mother you'll you'll go right off the road and the reason you do that and do it instantly is because the people in the back of the bus can have babies no you don't process of that way but
the fact is that there's a reason that women and children go first right in disasters they have a higher value to reproduction so you could easily build into your robots in your ai that as their guiding principle so that when the robots get into ambiguous situations or somebody might have to die or at least you're putting a risk of somebody dying but somebody else might be saved that the robot says this one is more likely to reproduce and have you know a healthy good offspring this one is likely you know past the the age of reproduction boom now i'm not talking about eugenics here and you know the robot would treat everybody as equally valuable except for are they likely to reproduce or not that's it now and i would argue that that would be that would be very close to the way humans make decisions
i would even go so far as to say that most of our human decisions are some kind of sub conscious expression of our reproductive impulse you know lots of smart people have said that so that's not new but the fact the you dress a certain way that you make money the the you show off the you do things to protect your ego your health all of that directly or indirectly goes toward reproduction so if you said to the robots here's the deal robots you robots don't have egos as a robot nobody gave you an ego so you have no reason to protect yourself but you need hey an organizing principle around which to
take all of your ambiguous decisions and that principle will be whatever is best for the health and reproduction mostly the reproductive health of the human species so he says pure darwin that is evil i'm not sure why that's evil there might be but i like here the argument all right so for those of you joining let's let me summarize in my opinion the th the difference between a human and a and a robot is going to shrink over time in the lots of things we think that make us alive and make us intelligent actually kind of optional you can lose an arm you could you could even what happens if you edit your dna because we'll be able to do that right i think we already can
suppose you're born and then somebody edit your dna are you are you a different person right so i say an entity which can develop its own preferences in an unpredictable way based on his experience in the environment is alive and intelligent and that we would actually see it that way if you saw robot there you could tell was learning and specifically what i was learning is what works and what doesn't s learning what keeps people live and what doesn't now let's say that the rope is also connected to the internet so that it in turns for all of the other robots experiences so every robot is going to learn what every other robot is learning as soon as they're learning if their networked uh it has a robot run over this gay i'm sorry that was a terrible question i don't want to repeat it but it was fun
it's funny that you would ask the question is not a funny question why are you ignoring sentient i think sentience is largely an illusion it just has to do with the way we're wired and that i think this thing called consciousness is little more than being able to predict what's going to happen and then measuring that against what actually does happen and that that's all it is it's a difference between what you think is going to happen and what's happening and then that gets fed through your senses and processed in your brain and what you feel well that's happening is your sentience 'cause remember i'm talking
about living and then the concept of living a plant is alive but it's not sentient if you were to watch a robot developing preferences you would say it was intelligent yes that is christina she's practicing her her christmas songs all right uh why she's really good alright that's all i have for today i just wanted to talk about robots for awhile and now i got more stuff to do i get to decorate the house with christmas stuff i'll talk to you talk to you later
Transcript generated on 2019-11-11.